Travellers fighting for a permanent base in Bury St Edmunds have received a boost after a potential site was identified for them in draft plans for a 1,250 home development.
The Delaney family had applied to turn woodland off Rougham Hill into a private site but their bid was rejected by St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s development control committee in February following considerable opposition by nearby residents.
Councillors felt the application should not be considered before a masterplan for major development in the area is adopted and lamented the potential loss of community woodland.
However, the same site has been identified as a potential location for a gypsy and traveller site in a draft masterplan for the area from developers Hopkins Homes and Pigeon.
The proposals, known as the Abbots Vale development which are up for public consultation, also include 1,250 homes and a new relief road.
Planning agent Michael Hargreaves, who represents the Delaney family, said the inclusion of the site helps them in their appeal against the council’s decision.
He said: “The masterplan has effectively accepted and supported the site we had suggested.”
Robert Eburne, planning manager for Hopkins Homes, said: “In accordance with the Bury St Edmunds Vision 2031 document, opportunities for community build projects and for Gypsy and traveller accommodation will also be explored in the masterplan should a need be identified at the time of development.”
A spokesman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council added: “The planning application earlier this year was refused, in part, because the masterplan for the site had not been approved, as well as concerns that it would result in a loss of woodland.
“The masterplan now brings that gypsy and traveller provision back and invites people to comment as to what provision should be made, if any, as part of that site.”
The consultation on the Abbots Vale development runs until midnight on Sunday, June 7.